Thursday, April 28, 2011

Process and Factory Automation – And Electric Power Automation?

The Process and Factory/Manufacturing Automation domain is quite well developed since the nineties. Many communication solutions and standards have been developed since the MAP days in the eighties. The Automation of Electric Power Systems has been progressed independently of most other domain – maybe because of the fear of the danger of the high voltage!?

Usually there is very little exchange of information between the domain of Electric Power Automation and other areas. Also in the standardization world there is very little cooperation between these domains … with a few exceptions: IEC 60870-6 TASE.2 and IEC 61850 (standards for Power Systems) are using a Manufacturing specific communication solution: Manufacturing Message Specification (MMS, ISO 9506). On the other side IEC 61850 is referring to the Redundancy standard developed for Factor Automation (IEC 62439 – developed in cooperation between experts from IEC TC 65 and TC 57).

More and more experts are understanding the need to exchange information between all three domains. In the future it will be quite crucial for the Process and Factory/Manufacturing Automation domain to get information from the Power Automation systems – in order to use the electric power more efficiently!

Fortunately there is an easy way to retrieve the information from the Power Automation to an other domain that uses power: IEC 61850.

At the ABB Power and Automation Conference in Orlando, “ARC analyst Barry Young said industry is the number one U.S. consumer of energy by end use sector, followed by transportation, residential and commercial entities.
Process heating (fired heaters) and machine drives are the two biggest energy consumers in the manufacturing sector, and represent the best areas for energy savings opportunity.
Savings as high as 10 percent can be realized with no major investment, said Young, but a major roadblock exists. “Automation and electrification are separate islands, and operators have no view into the power side. They cannot identify or take advantage of energy savings,” he said. …

For 49 percent of companies, energy is not part of active process control. “IEC 61850 is an Ethernet-based solution that provides tight integration between automation and power systems,” said Young. “It is the fieldbus for electrical [systems]. Adoption, however, has been slow due to the learning curve.”” … Hm, it is much more than a fieldbus!!

Click HERE for the report from the ABB conference.

It is easier to look into the Power Automation System (with a single solution: IEC 61850) than into the other systems (with the many many field busses in IEC 61158 …).

Want to look into the Power Automation System? Just use a simple IEC 61850 DLL (Dynamic Link Library) and a very simple client software that uses the DLL … and talk to an IEC 61850 compliant power protection or control device:

Click HERE to let YOUR Application speak IEC 61850 in hours.

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